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R Ashby





Joined: 12 Feb 2010
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PostPosted: Wed 19 Jan, 2011 1:14 pm    Post subject: Firearms of the 1570's         Reply with quote

Am I right in saying that these were the most commonly used firearms in England/Western Europe in the 1570's?

Matchlock, Wheellock (more rare) and Snaphaunce Muskets, Arquebus and Caliver

Wheellock and Snaphaunce Pistols

Does that pretty much cover it?

And can anyone give me a semi-informed guestimate about the ranges of these? Everything I've found on the Net is contradictory!
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Keith Burgess




Location: New England Australia
Joined: 20 Jan 2011

Posts: 26

PostPosted: Thu 20 Jan, 2011 5:47 pm    Post subject: Early Smoothbores.         Reply with quote

I would say you are right in regards to types.

I have used both flintlock and matchlock. I doubt there was little difference in regard to the range of these guns. Accurate range 50-80 yards for hunting. I generally get a lot closer, more like 25 yards or less. Range depending on trajectory for warfare I would guesstimate at 100-200 yards. Dropping a pumpkin sized round ball into a collection of people at 200 yards would still do a lot of damage.

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. Henry David Thoreau.
http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com/
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Dan Rosen




Location: Providence
Joined: 21 Jan 2010

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PostPosted: Thu 20 Jan, 2011 7:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As a note, Matchlocks, Wheellocks, and Snaphaunces are all firing mechanisms, not necessarily actual types of firearms. So a caliver or musket, for example, might (and probably would) have a matchlock mechanism. If you're dealing with the English, the longbow was still very much in use too and there was a lot of debate in the period as to whether guns or bows were supreme. Each had their advantages. Though not firearms, ranged weapons like bows continued to be a major player in their military and so demand consideration.

The Irish also continued to use a shortbow and the English & Scots near their border on occasion used a small crossbow called a latch.

I've done a good amount of reading into the ranges of 16th century blackpowder firearms, and I've found that the range for a musket or caliver was usually somewhere between 40 and 100 yards. This can vary depending on the amount of powder used, its quality, the fit of the ball, conditions and so on. I've read that pistols might range from 5-20 yards.

I hope this helps.

-Dan

-Dan Rosen

"One day there will be no more frontier, and men like you will go too."
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Jack W. Englund




Location: WA State
Joined: 17 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Fri 21 Jan, 2011 9:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Rosen wrote:
As a note, Matchlocks, Wheellocks, and Snaphaunces are all firing mechanisms, not necessarily actual types of firearms. So a caliver or musket, for example, might (and probably would) have a matchlock mechanism. If you're dealing with the English, the longbow was still very much in use too and there was a lot of debate in the period as to whether guns or bows were supreme. Each had their advantages. Though not firearms, ranged weapons like bows continued to be a major player in their military and so demand consideration.

The Irish also continued to use a shortbow and the English & Scots near their border on occasion used a small crossbow called a latch.

I've done a good amount of reading into the ranges of 16th century blackpowder firearms, and I've found that the range for a musket or caliver was usually somewhere between 40 and 100 yards. This can vary depending on the amount of powder used, its quality, the fit of the ball, conditions and so on. I've read that pistols might range from 5-20 yards.

I hope this helps.

-Dan


Although I Shoot "flintlocks", I have fired a # of the above ( + the snaphaunce's forerunner the snaplock.) Dan is correct.

Some added thoughts from my experiences

1. Snaphaunces were avail. in the LATE 1550s, but they did not gain wide usage for a while ( they finally basically fell out of use in Europe in the 1620s on, being replaced by the "English lock/ Flintlock)
2. The vast majority of the firearms of the mid 1500s were "smooth bore" but "rifled " guns were made.
3. "Effective" Range ( hitting what your aiming at ), - As Dan said, but I have seen individuals repeatably hit "man sized targets out to 200 yd.s & with authority. ( in warfare usually used under 100 yd.s in volley fire.
4. In the 1550s, most likely yo would still be using a wheel lock.

Pistols -
1. Smooth bores
2. Not carried by most ( $$, reliability & "bulk.) ( carried mainly by "mounted individuals/units)
3. Pistols during this time were "big" & usually carried in "saddle holsters".
4. Effective range" - Although they will reach out to 20 yd.s,, the closer the better.

As to "hunting, ain't done any with these, but I have taken deer or 2 ( & a # of friends take elk) with my flint lock "smoothy" ( under 50 yd.s. & the .72 cal ball gets the job done)

Jack
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Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
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PostPosted: Fri 21 Jan, 2011 9:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would recommend Gordon Frye's featured article "from lance to pistol", which gives a good introduction to the development of firearm use on horseback, and it's effects.

The typical firearm of the early 1500's was a arquebus, a medium length, matchlock piece. These fired large bore projectiles, and where used as close support for the pikemen, firing at very close range.
As their efficiency was proven, the number of guns increased. Engagement ranges, not surprisingly, increased in proportion.

As the century progressed, and armour was upgraded to deal with the new threat, the Musket appeared on the scene. The 16th-17th c musket was in effect a antitank gun, with a longer barrel and more punch, in order to take down charging heavy cavalry. Some pistols of the period also have this "high velocity" long barrel design.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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R Ashby





Joined: 12 Feb 2010
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Posts: 103

PostPosted: Sat 22 Jan, 2011 4:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Excellent!! Thank you all so much!
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